Russian military says it test-fired hypersonic missile

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Russia’s military announced on Monday that it had successfully test-fired a hypersonic missile it developed.

One of the Kremlin navy’s Admiral Gorshkov-class frigates in the White Sea launched the Zircon cruise missile, which hit a practice target 215 nautical miles away, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry, first reported by The Associated Press.

The Zircon, which is set to enter service next year on Russian ships and submarines, is meant to fly at a distance of up to 620 miles and at nine times the speed of sound, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The test only adds to tensions between the Kremlin and the West, as it comes amid a major Russian military buildup near its border with Ukraine.

U.S. and NATO intelligence have shown Russian forces could soon push into Ukraine, much like it did with its 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

Since that land grab, Moscow has made modernizing its armaments a top priority.The country has been developing several hypersonic missiles, including the Zircon.

Putin has stressed that the new missile, which Russia has tested several times as of late, will greatly increase Russian military capability. 

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